This is an excerpt from my book in progress, You Got It. Its about two radio stations, one good and one bad, two guys, one good and one bad and the girl that has to choose between them.
This scene takes place in the beginning of the book.
Instead of art, my boss prefers to hang electric guitars on the walls. I can’t help feeling sorry for them as I pass through the entrance on the way in to work. These guitars that once rocked out on stage now decorate an office where we build elevator music for shoppers and dentist offices.
I’m sliding into the chair at my desk when Cady, my administrative co-worker hands me a note. Jeremy Muntzer at Pinto, the musician’s agent in L.A. has left me a message. I read it through a couple of times because he is calling about a dream I gave up on over a year ago.
I dial his number instantly. “Yes I’ll hold.” I try not to freak out while I wait. This isn’t an easy task as Jeremy scares the shit out of me. He is fast talking and sharp, and I know he can smell a rat. I am the rat.
“Hi Jeremy, this is Mona Shea of KMUK radio. I heard you called?”
He tells me that Dean Chase is coming to town and he wants to arrange a broadcast interview for him. “Ok, when?”
“Next week?” I can’t control my voice. I’ve just squeaked. A rat sounding squeak.
He tells me Dean is eager to make things happen in Seattle. He tells me that Dean wants to focus on his solo career up here and how newsworthy that is. And, big surprise, he tells me the nationwide tour Dean and his band were scheduled to do this fall has been cancelled. I try not to exclaim out loud as Jeremy is talking about a tour cancel like its nothing. Jeremy then hints at getting Dean an interview at the Angle, the alternative cool newspaper in town. I know that means with Seline, music reporter and my nemesis. She’s already stolen enough stories and boyfriends from me. She isn’t going to get to Dean first.
“No, don’t worry, next week is fine.” I lie. “Yes, the interview will be broadcast on the radio as well as my web site.” I extend the truth again. “Yeah, its www.fridaynightspinster.com.” I wonder if I can reprogram my blog to play audio.
I stare at the buttons on the phone willing Jeremy Muntzer to believe me. But he isn’t taking the time to ask me any tough questions or insult me. Instead I hear he’ll call with Dean’s travel dates. I tell him, in a swift move, that the interview won’t be live. Thankfully, even that doesn’t seem to faze him. I start to wonder if Jeremy isn’t smelling a rat on purpose. We finish talking and hang up.
I click off the line and exhale deeply.
My next breath is like breathing in broken glass. How in hell am I going to get a shift on the radio in less than less one week? For what I didn’t bother to tell Jeremy is that I haven’t been on the air for over a year. And I’m never going back.
See, Jeremy Muntzer called me because I used to be a name DJ on the coolest alternative radio station in the city. KMUK radio 91.5 on the FM dial. I’d say those exact words at the top of the hour along with our slogan, the one that turned out to be untrue. KMUK, where music is king. It was the kind of thing you didn’t see coming, unless you were suspicious, which I am now, got buttloads of suspicion now, but then I was in my first fabulous position in my last year of college and I believed that being a DJ was like being a music missionary, without all the cultural destruction, but instead the reverse of that, like finding all this great music and cracking it open for everyone to enjoy.
I didn’t notice that we were getting popular, well, I did, but I didn’t notice that the college was suddenly interested in our money making potential, and so they got rid of the DJs making this great quilt of punk, noise, grunge, new wave, ambient, and local, and bought a computer to make the selections for us. My name was one of the last to be erased from the board. Because I brought in a lot of money to the fundraisers, but eventually, I said something that I broadcast right over the air, and that was it. I can talk about it now, and I only feel half of the towering anger and pain that I felt a year ago.
I learned from KMUK that music isn’t king, but money is. I learned not to trust radio management. And I learned that I won’t be going back to radio, except for the short time I need to meet, interview and possibly… kiss, Dean Chase.